March 24, 2005

Buckle up! Home-schooled drivers set to hit the road

Parents who opt to home-school their kids are often fundementalists who are seeking to shelter their children from such things as scientific facts and what they feel is the general moral bankrupcy of public schools.

There's nothing inherantly wrong with this, though studies show that home-schooled kids do poorer by many measures. But home-schooled kids eventually compete with the rest, and their education plays it's role in their success or failure. If an employer, say, found them lacking, he could simply refuse to hire them.

But now home-schoolers have an Iowa rep in their corner and he's pushing to allow parents to home-school their kids to drive. (Well, waddaya want? To make them send their kids into the dens of iniquity that are driver's ed courses??!!)

There are provisions to the measure, including requiring parents to teach the same curriculum as certified instructors and following a mix of classroom lessons and driving. Home-taught drivers would also be required to pass a standard driving test.

Governor Vilsack vetoed a nearly identical bill last year. But the bills chief sponsor, Rep. Kraig Paulsen (no, that's not a typo) R-Hiawatha actually thinks this will somehow "improve the safety of our roads."

I doubt it will make them much more unsafe, but the question still remains, what's the justification for allowing parents to teach their kids to drive rather than certified instructors who can be held liable if they fall short of high standards?

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